Music Business Association Brings ‘Brand & Strategic Partnership Summit’ Back to Music Biz 2017 in Nashville

Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild to discuss ‘Fair Child’ clothing line; Cracker Barrel’s Don Hoffman to deliver keynote presentation

Panels to feature execs from Atlantic Records, Chevrolet, Country Music Association (CMA), Crossfade Partners, Mastercard, Maverick Management, MelodyVR, Nielsen Music, Roc Nation, TuneIn, Warner Music Group, Vevo, YETI Coolers, and ZinePak

April 27, 2017 – The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will bring its popular Brand & Strategic Partnership Summit back to Nashville on May 17 from 11 a.m. to 3:55 p.m. CT as part of the Music Biz 2017 convention at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. The Summit will be headlined by “Telling a Story with Song and Fashion: The Story Behind Fair Child and Macy’s,” a panel featuring Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town and Kelly Russell Jarrell of Sandbox Entertainment and moderated by Alix Kram of Warner Music Artist Services. They will discuss the process that went into pairing Fairchild’s clothing line, Fair Child, with Macy’s Department Stores. The Summit will close with a keynote presentation from Don Hoffman, Sr. VP of Marketing at Cracker Barrel, who will discuss the company’s innovative artist partnerships, the Cracker Barrel Music Spotlights series, and the recent GRAMMY-winning collaboration between Pentatonix and Dolly Parton on “Jolene,” which was powered by Cracker Barrel.

The Summit will also feature commentary from a wide variety of top industry executives, including representatives from Atlantic Records, Chevrolet, the Country Music Association (CMA), Crossfade Partners, Mastercard, Maverick Management, MelodyVR, Nielsen Music, Roc Nation, TuneIn, Warner Music Group, Vevo, YETI Coolers, and ZinePak.

“This year’s Brand & Strategic Partnership Summit is a must-attend event for anyone serious about making music a part of their corporate identity, not to mention artists looking to gain visibility via a brand partnership,” said Nicole Hennessey, VP of Communications at Music Biz. “These sessions will explain how brands can engage passionate music listeners, discuss the importance of branded artist content to enrich strategic partnerships, teach brands how to interact with music ‘superfans,’ provide guidance on how companies can create authentic brand experiences using music, and explain how to harness the power of digital innovation to secure bigger and better partnerships between brands and bands.”

The full agenda for the Brand & Strategic Partnership Summit can be found below or by visiting Admission is included in the price of a full Music Biz 2017 badge, which can be purchased at Special discounted rates are available for students and educators as well as first-time independent label, startup, artist, manager, songwriter, and publisher attendees.

Day passes for Wednesday, May 17, are also available for only $199. These passes will allow buyers to access all Music Biz 2017 programming on May 17 only, including the CMA-sponsored Awards Breakfast & Presentations (featuring awards presentations to UMG Nashville’s Mike Dungan and Music Millennium’s Terry Currier and a live performance by Little Big Town) and the Brand & Strategic Partnership Summit. To purchase the May 17 day pass, visit and use code BRANDDAY to reveal the ticket.

11 – 11:10 AM

TuneIn: Engage with Passionate Listeners
Join TuneIn’s Head of Marketing, Scott Parker, as he discusses how brands can reach new audiences by leveraging the wide array of digital music platforms. The audio category is rapidly evolving and offering brands new ways to engage with passionate listeners. Parker will present listening trends by format and how brands can leverage data, new devices and platforms to drive their message home and connect with listeners around the globe.

  • Scott Parker, VP of Marketing, TuneIn

11:10 AM – 12 PM

Branded Artist Content: Its Value, Purpose and Potential
In today’s multimedia driven world, rarely does even a mundane moment go by without someone capturing and sharing it to a variety of social platforms. You may have heard the phrase “photo or it didn’t happen” and the same applies to artist and brand partnerships. This panel will explore how adding content touch points enriches a strategic partnership. Select topics include the importance of building content into a deal, working with brands that have their own media channels and support those that don’t, thinking beyond the paid post, discussing ways to monetize content and making content that matters.

  • Moderator: Marieke Bianchi, Sr. Director of Strategic Partnerships & Activations, Warner Music Nashville
  • Moderator: Jamie Younger, Sr. Director of Content Strategy & Innovation, Warner Music Nashville
  • Parul Chokshi, Director of Talent & Brand Marketing, Vevo
  • Steven Hancock, Co-Founder & COO, MelodyVR
  • Robert Sanchez, Music Marketing Manager, YETI Coolers

12:05 – 12:10 PM

The Superfan Experience: Treating Every Customer Like an Influencer
According to a recent study by Viacom, 86% of millennials believe fans have some ownership of the brands and celebrities they support. The majority of those surveyed also believe it’s important for brands to have “personalities,” both online and off. With most millennials (61%) self-identifying as pop-culture influencers, how should brands communicate with them to convert casual consumers into superfans? This quick session will give tips for taking your message beyond experiential or influencer marketing directly into the hands, hearts and—most importantly—wallets of customers.

  • Brittany Hodak, ZinePak, Co-Founder

12:10 – 1 PM

Telling a Story with Song and Fashion: The Story Behind Fair Child and Macy’s
Known as one of Country music’s most stylish women, in 2016, Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town took her fashionable eye to the design studio to create her own clothing line, “Fair Child,” for Macy’s Department Stores. The collection combines Fairchild’s edgy trendsetting red carpet looks with her Rock-influenced concert outfits to create the ultimate chic high-end fashions.

Forever a fan of fashion, Fairchild fell for design early, mixing and matching pieces and patterns to create unique looks, including her own prom dress. Personally involved in every step of the design process, you can be assured her attention to detail will be passed on to every garment created in her name.

“Outside of writing songs and performing, fashion is definitely my passion. I view it a lot like telling a story in a song,” Fairchild remarked in an interview with Sounds Like Nashville. “I think an outfit tells a story, and I think when there’s something interesting or surprising or a little twist, that’s what makes a great song and it’s the same thing that makes a great outfit. I’m so grateful to Macy’s for giving me this opportunity.”

In an interview conducted by Warner Music Artist Services’ VP of Global Consumer Products, Alix Kram, Fairchild — joined by Kelly Jarrell from Sandbox Entertainment, the company responsible for pairing Fairchild and Macy’s — we’ll hear how Fairchild found the perfect home for her clothing line, the considerations she made when choosing a brand partner, and how together Fairchild, Sandbox, and Macy’s continue to enhance their partnership and adapt to the demands of their followers.

  • Moderator: Alix Kram, VP of Global Brand Licensing, Warner Music Artist Services
  • Karen Fairchild, Little Big Town
  • Kelly Russell Jarrell, Publicist, Sandbox Entertainment

2 – 2:25 PM

Brand Partnerships That Sing: A Road Map to Creating Authentic Music Experiences
When it comes to creating emotional connections with consumers and building brand favorability, it’s hard to beat music. Brands love music fans: they are passionate, loyal, social and there are multiple opportunities to reach them through sponsorship activations. The most successful partnerships start with data and insights that connect a brand’s objectives with the right music partner, and most importantly offer something meaningful to fans. Matt Yazge, Head of Brand Sponsorships at Nielsen Music, will lead a discussion with the global marketing team at Chevrolet on how understanding fans can help drive more successful brand music strategies.

Get great insights on how brands are thinking about music, and discover how to leverage your artist’s fans from the team at the forefront of strategic music partnerships.

  • Moderator: Matt Yazge, Head of Brand Partnerships, Nielsen Music
  • John Gasloli, Sr. Manager of Global Marketing, Chevrolet
  • Susan Hommel, Global Marketing Manager, Chevrolet

2:30 – 3:10 PM

Using Digital Firsts to Attract Big Brand $$$
Today’s brand partnerships require a focus on innovation and creating digital, social, tech and data driven firsts. This panel highlights how to harness the power of digital innovations to attract, close, and activate on bigger and better revenue generating music brand partnerships.

  • Moderator: Jon Vanhala, Founder & Managing Partner, Crossfade Partners
  • Bryan Calhoun, Digital Strategy and Business Development, The Blueprint Group/Maverick Management
  • Camille Hackney, Exec. VP of Brand Partnerships & Commercial Licensing/Head of Global Brand Partnerships Council, Atlantic Records Group/Warner Music Group
  • Meryl Johnson, Director of Digital Strategy, Country Music Association (CMA)
  • Matthew Siegel, Chief Digital Officer, Roc Nation
  • Jeff Swierk, VP of US Consumer Markets, Mastercard

3:15 – 3:55 PM

Closing Keynote: Don Hoffman, Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel was founded just 30 miles east of Music City, Tennessee. The brand’s music and entertainment program has enhanced the experiences of its guests since 1969, and over the years, Cracker Barrel has partnered with legendary artists like Alabama, Brad Paisley, George Jones, Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton and Clint Black. In 2015, Cracker Barrel launched the Spotlight Music Program to target new audiences and enhance the guest experience through exclusive artist partnerships, exciting collaborations, and custom digital content. Recent Cracker Barrel Music Spotlights from across diverse musical genres include Pentatonix, Rachel Platten, Anthony Hamilton, NEEDTOBREATHE, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton and more. Today, Cracker Barrel continues to bring its legacy of artful curation to create meaningful pop culture moments at the cross section of music and technology. Most recently, Cracker Barrel powered the GRAMMY Award-winning collaboration between Pentatonix and Dolly Parton, which garnered over 22 million views on YouTube. Cracker Barrel VP of Marketing Don Hoffman will discuss how music is a powerful way for the brand to connect with new audiences and stay top of mind for guests, all while preserving what makes the music program special and making changes the guests of tomorrow will expect.

  • Don Hoffman, Sr. VP of Marketing, Cracker Barrel

Music Biz 2017, which will return to Nashville from May 15-18, is the music industry’s premier event, giving the commerce and content sectors a place to meet with trading partners, network with new companies, and learn about new trends and products impacting the music business. This year’s event will feature keynotes from Atlantic Records Group Chairman and COO Julie Greenwald with GRAMMY Award-winning superstar Kelly Clarkson, Spotify’s Global Head of Creator Services Troy Carter, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Music Agents Jeff Krones and Hunter Williams, Cracker Barrel’s VP of Marketing Don Hoffman, Universal Music Group’s Exec. VP of Content Strategy and Operations Barak Moffitt, and more to be announced. A special line-up of Digital Service Workshops from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Soundcloud, Spotify, and YouTube/Google Play will mark an unprecedented first for the music industry as Music Biz will bring these companies together in one place for one day packed with information about how to leverage the tools and products that these companies offer to maximize value for artists, labels, managers, creators, and the industry at large.

The eclectic Music Biz 2017 program will also cover topics including Touring, Live Streaming, Vinyl, Messaging, International, D2F, Crowdfunding, e-Commerce, Playlisting, A&R, Social Media, Licensing, Publishing, Hi-Res, VR, Management, and Professional Development. Returning favorite sessions will include the Metadata Summit, Brand & Strategic Partnership Summit, and Entertainment & Technology Law Conference, as well as an encore for Music’s Leading Ladies Speak Out and various special interest programs and breakout sessions. Music Biz will celebrate executive and artist achievements with Music Biz awards being bestowed to UMG Nashville’s Mike Dungan, Music Millennium’s Terry Currier, Adele, Paula Abdul, Hamilton Original Cast Recording and the Hamilton Mixtape, Lukas Graham, Reba McEntire, Maren Morris, and others to be announced. Registration is now open at, and for a full list of currently confirmed programming, visit

About the Music Business Association

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) is a membership organization that advances and promotes music commerce — a community committed to the full spectrum of monetization models in the industry. It provides common ground by offering thought leadership, resources and unparalleled networking opportunities, all geared to the specific needs of its membership. Music Biz brings a unique perspective and valuable insight into the trends and changes that innovation brings. Today, we put our collective experience to work across all delivery models: physical, digital, mobile, and more. Music Biz and its members are committed to building the future of music commerce — together.

Music Biz Media Contact

Laurie Jakobsen, Jaybird Communications —, 646.484.6764